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Tot Tool

This is a tot tool that allows tots to make the association between upper case and lower case.

I first saw these name matching puzzles here at 1+1+1=1. As soon as I saw these I knew I wanted to make one with my daughter’s name. I knew if I didn’t make it right away, I would lose the idea in my plethora of bookmarks. Since my daughter was napping, I got to work. I didn’t have water bottle lids, so I used baby food jar lids instead.

I never use all upper case letters when I write my daughter’s name for her, so I made the lids using lower case with only her first initial as an upper case. At 19 months, I didn’t even know if she’d be able to do this activity; it just seemed simple enough to make quickly.

What I discovered was that she wasn’t familiar enough with certain lower case letters to be able to match them very well. Some of these look very similar. So I realized I should have written them all in upper case, as she recognizes all the upper case letters in her name (she calls all the letters she knows by a word that starts with that letter – D = dada, M= mama, I = mium (her word for icecream),…). I turned the lids upside down and wrote the upper case inside the lids. I also turned the cardstock to the other side and rewrote her name in upper case. Then we put this tool away because she had lost interest.

However, this morning, my husband was playing with her with it and we both noticed that Bear would look at the upper case side, then turn the lid over to the lower case side, then flip it again, match it to the correct upper case and then turn the lid back over to the lower case side on top of the upper case circle. In short, Bear was discovering that there are two representations for the same letter.

Consequently, I wanted to share my version of this great tool.

Materials:

1 piece of cardstock long enough for the word or name you are practicing
jar or bottle lids/caps – enough to spell the word or name
scrap paper the color of your choice
white glue
marker

Directions:

1. Trace the jar lids onto the cardstock. Write the word/name in upper case letters into your circles.

2. Repeat on the other side of the cardstock, but using lower case letters (except if using a name, then keep the first letter upper case).

3. Trace the jar lids on your scrap paper.

4. Write the lower case letters on these circles.
5. Glue the circles on the top of the lids.

6. On the inside of the lids, write the upper case letters – however, make sure that you can flip the lid by turning your wrist and that the upper and lower case letter are both right side up; make sure they are lined up.

Now you are ready for your LO to match the jar lid letters to the letters on the cardstock.

Written by Julie Cerdas
I'm a stay-at-home Catholic mom who loves playing with and teaching my two children.